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Half the fun of the holiday season is checking out the homes of friends and neighbors to see how they’ve decked their halls. When it comes to holiday décor, we all have different tastes and traditions.

That’s one of the reasons I enjoy so many of the holiday shows we film each year.  But I think one of my favorites has to be “Celebrity Holiday Homes.”  In this hour-long special (which premieres Friday 8/7c), HGTV designers visit the real-life homes of celebrities and decorate them to the tee with a complete holiday makeover.

Not only do we get to see the designers work their magic, it’s always amazing to see how thrilled the stars are to have their favorite HGTV hosts decorate their homes.  And I’m especially excited that one of this year’s featured designers is the incredibly talented, Kelli Ellis.

Designer, Kelli Ellis

Kelli is an award-winning, internationally known celebrity Interior Designer and Design Psychology Expert. She splits time as an author, brand ambassador, educator, life coach, speaker, professional blogger and on-camera Designer. Co-creator of Interior Design Camp, Design Campus and Design Glamp home goods. Her new book, “Do I look skinny in this house?” debuts next spring.

I recently caught up with Kelli, while she was taking a short break from her hectic media schedule, to get the 411 on decorating the home of Lorenzo and Shawna Lamas for this year’s special.  Here’s the dish.

Dale:  Ok, so I confess.  I’m a big Lorenzo Lamas fan…even back to  “Renegade” and “Falcon Crest” days.  What was it like working with Lorenzo and Shawna?
Kelli:  Who doesn’t have a crush on Lorenzo!?  Every girl wanted to ride on that Renegade’s bike and every guy wanted to be him!  He was an absolute doll and I love Shawna.  We have started working together on a few projects and have become great friends.  The girls were adorable, as well…appreciative and sweet.  I wasn’t sure Lorenzo would be so game to wrap gifts with me, but not only was he a great sport he wore his Christmas sweater too…love him even more!

Kelli and Lorenzo on the set of “Celebrity Holiday Homes”

Dale: Your transformation of Lorenzo’s home was incredible, but as everyone will see Friday, Lorenzo and Shawna have very polarizing tastes.  Is that a common dilemma when working for couples?
Kelli:  Yes! I call myself “The Design Mediator” (you heard it here first!)  I am often holding the hands of my clients guiding them through step-by-step, so both are happy.  If I walk into a home with distinct modge-podge styles present I know both parties have strong personalities and it’s going to get rough!  Lorenzo and Shawna have polar opposite tastes, thankfully with Christmas decor you can be crazier than you ever would be in everyday design, so blending styles is much easier.

Lorenzo and Shawna explore their new holiday look

Dale: And your design solution for the Lamas was very “Renegade” meets “Ritz,” which I absolutely love.
Kelli:  I loved it too.  As with any design, finding unifying colors is the trick to blending tastes.  They both wanted to see themselves in the design, as well as their three daughters.  Thankfully they love bold, bright colors, as seen in their wall art and purple pool table…no color-phobia’s in that house!

Kelli poses with Lorenzo on his beloved bike

Dale: Without giving away spoilers, let’s talk a bit about the big purple pool table in the living room, or as you refer to it, the “800 lb gorilla.”  Are those kinds of challenges scary or fun when it comes to holiday decorating?
Kelli:  I love challenges in any designing.  It’s too easy to decorate an empty room!  Transforming the purple pool table into something worthy of Christmas was the challenge.  Because it’s also a source of entertainment, I had to create removable options and decor!  I wanted the table to look great even when the big items were removed…you’ll have to watch to see the solution.

Dale: And I have to ask, what was going through your mind at the design consult when Lorenzo mentioned that his pet lizard was roaming the house free?
Kelli:  Luckily I am not afraid of reptiles but one of my design assistants nearly passed out! My daughter Alexa (on camera with me) came to be a helper and keep her eye out for the lizard – operation Lizard Watch was in full effect for 2 days!!

Dale: I loved your DIY décor for the Lamas home.  Do you have any “tried and true” DIY decorating tips for our viewers?
Kelli:  Yes, my tried and truisms for Holiday Decor…

  • For artificial trees: always use a filler shiny fabric or cellophane to fill inside the sparse area where the “limbs” meet the “trunk.
  • Use reflective surfaces inside the tree, as well, to throw light back out and reflect lights.
  • Use pipe cleaners instead of hooks nothing will fall off ever!
  • Lights, lights, lights….weird dark spots on tables, floors, and around the tree base?…add a string of lights!
  • Use battery lights for bowls, glass dishes on the tables and chandeliers.

Dale: Now let’s do what I like to call a “Quick Three.”

Favorite holiday decorating trend this year?
Edison light bulbs on the tree … dying over those!!

What color(s) did you “crush on” in 2013?
Tiffany teal blue and brushed gold

For our Pinterest users, mason jar décor…way over or coming back in 2014?
Kelli: Ha! Well considering they were invented in 1858 and haven’t left yet, I’d say with confidence “Coming back” – Especially with the grass roots/natural approach to our designs (now moving into commercial use) we haven’t seen the end of the jar.  As long as reclaimed wood is on the walls, the jar lives!

D: And one last question…I won’t give it away for our viewers, but were you nervous at the final reveal for Lorenzo and Shawna?
Kelli: I don’t get nervous, I get very very excited!  I felt great about the design and confident they would be happy with the overall look.  The only thing I was concerned about was Lorenzo’s reaction to my putting anything on the his beloved pool table… I had to show him the care we took in protecting the felt so he could enjoy the design.  It can be a bit overwhelming to see your home so transformed.  His reaction was so sweet and touching.  He thanked me profusely for giving his girls the Christmas they’ve always wanted!  That was a gift to me.

Kelli reveals her holiday makeover

D: Thanks Kelli and Happy Holidays.  We can’t wait for Celebrity Holiday Homes!
Kelli: Thanks Dale, loved chatting! Happy Holidays to all the HGTV readers and fans, love you guys!!

Believe me, you do not want to miss the Lamas family’s reaction to their holiday makeover.  Follow Kelli on Twitter (@designerkelli) for more tidbits from the show (or just because she is ahhh-mazing).

And don’t miss the premiere of Celebrity Holiday Homes, this Friday 8/7c on HGTV.

In the meantime, here’s a little preview (go ahead, it’s ok to peek).

 

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On New Year’s Day HGTV will launch its largest social media campaign ever: a live all-day Twitter party with such top network talent as the Property Brothers, the Cousins, Rehab Addict’s Nicole Curtis and Love It or List It duos, Hilary Farr/David Visentin and Jillain Harris/Todd Talbot.

Throughout the day, fans can join the Twitter party by using #HGTVNewYear to ask their favorite network stars questions and get advice about everything from renovation and decorating to New Year’s resolutions. For the first time ever, the live Twitter party is hitting the big screen – fans can see their actual tweets appear live on air throughout the day.

Make sure to follow @HGTV on Twitter to stay up to date on all the latest information on how you can be a part of our New Year’s Day party.

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Join HGTV for an all-premiere New Year’s Day that will take you to to exotic locations around the world, all from the comfort of your couch. The day starts with the Rose Parade 2014 hosted by the Property Brothers, Drew Scott and Jonathan Scott, who will be joined by entertainment journalist Nancy O’Dell on the announcers’ platform for HGTV’s live and commercial-free coverage of the 125th Rose Parade® presented by Honda. Josh Temple of DIY Network’s House Crashers will be in the middle of the action offering unique street-side perspectives and spectator interviews.

After the parade, the all-premiere New Year will continue with new episodes of Island Hunters, Beachfront Bargain Hunt, Caribbean Life, Hawaii Life and Living Alaska, as well as the premiere of HGTV Dream Home 2014, which will offer viewers the first on-air look at the spectacular home in Lake Tahoe.

Specials such as Hot Beach Houses, Cool Pools, 15 Amazing Homes, Amazing Water Homes and new episodes of viewer favorites Buying and Selling, House Hunters and House Hunters International will round out the day’s viewing.

HGTV’s All-Premiere New Year’s Day
Hot Beach Houses
7 a.m. ET/PT

Cool Pools
8 a.m. ET/PT

15 Amazing Homes
9 a.m. ET/PT

House Hunters
10 a.m. ET/PT and 10:30 a.m. ET/PT

Rose Parade 2014
11 a.m. ET/ 8 a.m. PT

Island Hunters
1 p.m. ET/PT and 1:30 p.m. ET/PT

Beachfront Bargain Hunt
2 p.m. ET/PT and 2:30 p.m. ET/PT

Caribbean Life
3 p.m. ET/PT and 3:30 p.m. ET/PT

Amazing Water Homes
4 p.m. ET/PT and 4:30 p.m. ET/PT

Vacation House for Free
5 p.m. ET/PT

Hawaii Life
6 p.m. ET/PT and 6:30 p.m. ET/PT

Living Alaska
7 p.m. ET/PT and 7:30 p.m. ET/PT

HGTV Dream Home 2014
8 p.m. ET/PT

Buying and Selling
9 p.m. ET/PT and 9:30 p.m. ET/PT

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Spend New Year’s Day with the Property Brothers, Drew Scott and Jonathan Scott, for live and commercial-free coverage of the 125th Rose Parade®.  Starting at 11 a.m. ET/ 8 a.m. PT on Wednesday, January 1, the co-hosts will provide commentary on each spectacular float, choreographed marching band and prancing equestrian unit during the popular annual event.

Drew Scott and Jonathan Scott, hosts of HGTV’s Brother Vs. Brother, Property Brothers, and Buying and Selling.

The Brothers will be joined by entertainment-journalist Nancy O’Dell on the announcer’s platform. Reporting live from the parade route, DIY Network’s Josh Temple, of House Crashers fame, will be in the middle of the action offering unique street-side perspectives and spectator interviews.

The 125th Rose Parade® presented by Honda, themed “Dreams Come True,” will take place Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, followed by the 100th Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO. On Jan. 6, 2014, the Tournament also will host the 2014 VIZIO BCS National Championship at the Rose Bowl Stadium. For additional information on the Tournament of Roses please visit the official website at tournamentofroses.com.

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If you visit HGTV.com with any frequency, you’ve probably come across the work of Brian Patrick Flynn.  One of HGTV’s top contributing designers, Brian’s “edgy-meets-elegant” aesthetic can be found throughout our site.

HGTV’s Brian Patrick Flynn

In fact, some of our most-viewed online galleries are Brian Patrick Flynn original designs.  This guest bedroom makeover is one of our favorites:

If it isn’t already obvious, we’re big “BPF” (as we lovingly refer to him) fans around here.That’s why we’re so excited (and admittedly proud) that Brian has been nominated for Design Tastemaker of the Year, part of the annual CA (California) Home + Design Awards.

But design skill aside, Brian has us equally charmed with his great personality and (sometimes) quirky sense of humor.  Last week, I caught up with Brian and asked him his reaction upon learning that he was up for this prestigious award:

“I was eating a black and white cookie from Doughboys on Third Avenue in West Hollywood when my Google alerts notified me of the nomination announcement. Since black and white cookies, especially large ones from places where famous people like Kate Bosworth eat, are high up there on my list of favorites, and knowing that reputable shelter mags like CH+D think my West Coast design work is good, I couldn’t be happier.

In fact, I was so happy, I ate a second cookie right away, then lied and said I worked it off at the gym when really I just went home to read the full list online, watch Vanderpump Rules, and text my friends photos of cats doing stuff. So, regardless of what happens next, I’m stoked just to have made the list.”

What’s not to love about this guy?  If you’re as crazy about Brian Patrick Flynn and his designs as we are, be sure to vote for him for Design Tastemaker of the Year.  Hurry, voting ends Monday, December 2 at 5pm.

And in the meantime, get in the holiday spirit with these DIY project tips that Brian created exclusively for this year’s HGTV Holiday House.

 

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The day has finally come:  the U.S. premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the follow-up to The Hunger Games.  The film is predicted to be the highest-grossing movie of 2013!

And while I am a huge fan and absolutely love the setting of the film, let’s face it…living in Panem is the worst.  What if we could pluck our favorite characters from the ruthless, post-apocalyptic world and drop them into HGTV’s House Hunters?

Which house would Katniss Everdeen choose?  The quaint, country cottage?  Or the loft apartment in the heart of the city?  Would a lack of granite countertops and no stainless steel appliances really be a deal breaker for our heroine?

The folks at HGTV Frontdoor.com have handpicked the perfect homes for all of our favorite characters… and there’s virtually no chance they’d have to compete in a fight to the death over them.

Browse the Hunger Games Fantasy Homes Gallery>>

Hunger Games photos by: Murray Close
House photos by: Zillow

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The holiday season is always an exciting time here at HGTV.  Our building seems to transform into Santa’s workshop, as we get busy decorating, crafting, and even looking ahead to 2014 holiday trends (we have to stay on top of things for you all).

And no workshop would be complete without some fantastic Christmas music.  At the top of my holiday playlist?  Kelly Clarkson’s new album, Wrapped in Red.

If you haven’t heard it yet, watch HGTV this season when we feature two new tracks in our holiday commercials.  Here’s a sneak peek:

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

But why wait? Sample all the songs and download the Wrapped in Red album now.

Available at

Amazon, Amazon.com and the Amazon.com logo are
registered trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

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Guest post by Melissa AndersenCousinsTV

Wow – has it been a whole season of Cousins Undercover already? The big finale with The Ellen DeGeneres show airs this Sunday (November 17), and I can’t help but think back on all the places the Cousins have taken us. These seven weeks – and the countless hours spent planning and building each renovation – have truly been transformative for those of us involved, and we hope this season has changed you a little bit too!

As fans of HGTV, we’re all a little design-obsessed (self-proclaimed design junkie right here!). But what Anthony and John have shown us over the course of the season is that design is about so much more than just aesthetics. Good design transports you; it provides a sanctuary, a place to be inspired, a haven in which you can just be. Good design makes a house a home and for the people featured on this season of Cousins Undercover, it did all that and more.

Best behind-the-scenes moments from Cousins Undercover

The Cousins, their crew, and the unrelenting, passionate – and compassionate – teams of volunteers have transformed the lives of some of the most inspiring hometown heroes around: a school teacher and mother raising her newborn child on her own; a vice principal and wrestling coach who has mentored his town’s youth for years; an 11-year-old budding chef and cancer survivor who works tirelessly to raise funds and awareness for pediatric cancer; a teacher and computer wiz who dedicates his life to ensuring his students are armed with the latest tech and the knowledge to use it; a mother who coordinate all the town’s athletic, school-related, and social activities to build community; and a volunteer firefighter, EMT, and policeman who has followed in his family’s footsteps of generations of public service.

Now, this Sunday, the Cousins are teaming up with Ellen DeGeneres for one last, all-out, go-big-or-go-home renovation for a military veteran, his canine-rescuing wife, and their adorably nicknamed son, Cheese. This young family is the epitome of hometown heroes – from fighting for our country, to helping our four-legged friends find their forever homes, to brightening everyone’s day simply by saying ‘Cheese,’ it’s not hard to see why their tight-knit band of family and friends is over-the-moon for the Wendls and determined to turn their 70-year-old home into the cheerful, vintage-inspired abode they’ve always dreamed about.

For the ardent Cousins fans out there, you know Anthony and John love to push their designs (and themselves) to the limit, always adding new projects until moments before the reveal. But when Ellen DeGeneres is involved, you know things are going to be epic. The season finale, airing this Sunday at 8pm, is a more-than-fitting end to a series about more than just inspiring design. After seeing the examples set by the incredible people featured in this season, we’re inspired to try to live up to their example of paying it forward, and we hope you are too.

It’s been a crazy journey… thanks for taking it with us!

……………………..

About the author…

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If you’re like me, you’re wondering what happened to 2013.  It seems Labor Day wasn’t that long ago, yet Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas…they’re all upon us once again.

I’m not complaining…I’m just as caught up in the pre-holiday excitement as everyone else.  Most of my friends on social media are already posting and pinning their favorite recipes and decorating ideas.

And the folks here at HGTV have to be the most excited of all.  Our studio workshops are already sparkling with remnants of Christmas crafts, glitter, tinsel, and garland.   Of course that’s probably no secret if you follow us on Pinterest.

To add to the excitement, we’re celebrating the launch of HGTV’s second annual Holiday House, our own HGTV.com home that we’ve staged to the tee with our favorite traditional décor and brand new holiday designs.

And that leads me to the really fun part of this year’s holiday activities.  You’re invited to join us for a virtual Pin Party on Pinterest with special guest designer, Casey Noble.

This Monday starting 8pmEST, we’ll be pinning our favorite holiday trends of the year, decorating how-to’s you’ll want to try, and simple handmade gift ideas…everything you need to make the season bright.  Plus, Casey will be sharing her special designs exclusive to this year’s HGTV Holiday House.

Joining the party is easy.  Just follow these four easy steps:

1.  Log on to Pinterest this Monday starting 8pmEST

2.  Join the party board

3.  Follow hashtag #HolidayHouse

4.  Pour your favorite holiday beverage and help us spread some holiday cheer

(P.S.  Remember to refresh your browser often during the party to see the latest pins).

See you there!

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Have you ever watched an HGTV show and wished that you could go shopping for the products in the room? Now you can, with the help of Wayfair.com. The items in Wayfair‘s newest light, refreshing, and casual collection are inspired by the shows of HGTV – and they can be yours.

Want to update your living room? Add colorful accessories to your space? Now you can! Shop products inspired by HGTV’s Love It or List It – for up to 65% off.

Head to Wayfair.com to find fabulous, easy ways to update your home and refresh the look of your favorite room. Want to update your kitchen? Add a new piece to your living room? Then head to Wayfair.com to find the perfect products for your home.

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